Five Reasons The New iPhones Are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger For Musicians


Apple today made its biggest announcements so far this year, introducing two new larger phones, a new mobile payment system, a release date for its new mobile operating system, a new wearable computer platform and more.

As with previous iPhone announcements, Apple tried to explain why this year’s models are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger than the previous generation. And the new models are bigger, with tougher screens, faster processors, better camera and more.

Since Apple has established iOS as the leading computer platform for mobile music making, though, we though we’d take a look at the announcements to see what’s new that will be of special interest to iOS musicians.

Five Reasons The New iPhones Are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger For Musicians

  1. The iPhablet – While earlier iPhones seemed like a reasonable compromise between screen size, usability and portability, the market spoke – a lot of people want bigger screens and have been buying Android phones to get them. The iPhone 6 features a 4.7-inch 1334 x 750 display, offering 38 percent more viewing area than the previous generation, while the iPhone 6 Plus goes full-on ‘phablet’, with a 5.5-inch 1920 x 1080 display, offering 88 percent more viewing area than the previous generation. For mobile musicians that have been wanting bigger screens, they’ve now got a great iOS option.
  2. More options – Apple has been expanding its iPhone range over the last few year – and it now offers a huge selection of phones, which is likely to help it solidify its dominance over the profitable areas of the smartphone market. It now offers 29 different phone options, priced at free to $499 (under contract), that run a consistent operating system. This means that most developers are likely to continue to take an’iOS first’ approach to releasing apps, because they can reach a huge audience on a consistent OS.
  3. More storage for less money – with the new phones, Apple is offering more storage space (up to 128GB) at less of a premium. So, at the lower end, doubling the storage from 16 to 32 GB costs $50. At the high end, increasing the storage from 16 to 64GB costs $100. This is especially important for mobile musicians, because music apps keep getting bigger, and more powerful phones lead to more complex mobile music projects.
  4. Improved battery life – music production is taxing enough on desktop computers and extremely taxing on mobile devices, so battery life can often be a concern. The new iPhones offer significant improvements over the previous generation, with the high-end iPhone 6 Plus offering up to twice the battery life for things like audio playback. We’re looking forward to seeing what this means for music apps.
  5. iCloud Drive – Apple has been making incremental improvements each year to iCloud and it’s becoming an important option for sharing information across devices and for backing up your data. iOS 8 expands what you can do with iCloud, making it easier to share documents, both across devices and between applications. It supports sharing across iPhones, iPads, Macs, Windows PCs and the Web. It also lets you share files across multiple apps. And Apple announced paid iCloud storage options up to a terabyte. As applications add support, this should make it a lot easier to share samples, patches and projects between your music systems.


So, if you’re an iPhone music maker, is it time to upgrade?

iOS 8 will be compatible with the last three generations of the iPhone and iPad, so if you’ve got any of these devices, you’ll be getting a lot of new options when Apple releases the new OS on Sept 17:

  • iPhone 4S
  • iPhone 5
  • iPhone 5S
  • iPhone 5C
  • iPhone 6
  • iPhone 6 Plus
  • iPad 2
  • iPad 3
  • iPad 4
  • iPad Air
  • iPad Mini
  • iPad Mini 2
  • iPod Touch 5G

If you’ve got an iPhone 4 or earlier, though, it won’t be compatible with iOS 8. This means that you’re going to see more and more music apps that won’t work with your device.

If you’re a mobile music maker, leave a comment and let us know what you though about today’s announcements!

49 thoughts on “Five Reasons The New iPhones Are Harder, Better, Faster, Stronger For Musicians

  1. Many excellent options out there now. I especially like the iPad Nano (aka iPhone 6 plus). That looks infinitely more pocketable than even an iPad Mini.

    Side note from today. RIP iPod Classic. Even as fancy touch screens replaced you, you were the quintessential workhorse for people who just had way too much music!

  2. my ipad 1 with 5.11 still works with ims20 so it does not change much for me
    allot of the new features have nothing to do with music creation
    bigger and faster is good
    but i would rather have a iPad Air than a iPhone 6 Plus

  3. So the iPhone 4 is no longer supported, which means I can now confidently repurpose it to be a permanent fixture in my music rig. Delete everything, install only music apps, never update the phone/apps again. What apps should I get?

    1. That’s funny. I’ve done the “mothball” thing with every iOS device I’ve had now.
      The old iPhones/iPads run Moog Filtatron, KORG iKassoliator, iMS-20 exclusively like dedicated “instruments”. Hell, buy a used or broken iPad1 for $50 to make into a dedicated iElectribe box….

      (Broken screens can be made usable with an Invisible Shield screen protector. It contains the broken glass so you can swipe around without it becoming a black metal blood fest)

  4. Well thank goodness I have an iPad 3, mini retina, and iPhone 5s. I was hoping that keeping my old 16 iPhone 4 would be useful for some little noisy apps but looks like I am not going to be able to update. Oh well- I will still keep it for a few small odds and ends.
    Of course I will not be able to get into a 6 until next year. I guess I should have expected that from Apple though. Evey time I update a new gadget comes out a few months later. No worries though. Still am an avid beta tester and app purchaser. In fact my next gig (next month) is solely going to be on iOS devices.
    Cannot wait. 🙂

  5. Me too!

    There´s a rumoured 12″ iPad Pro which has me all excited. But really there´s no way of knowing if it will actually be released. I also think the so called prototypes that have been spotted would be for a desktop touchscreen OS that will eventually replace OSX. But in reality, who knows.

  6. Of course it’s an ad (or rather, “sponsored content”) but I’m still going to cop the 6+ as soon as possible. More screen real estate has been my number one desire for the iPhone ever since I switched over from Android.

  7. And still, the phone is not that great a workspace for music.

    I got one from work and have bought a lot of music apps just to check out how they work.
    None has been really musically useful.
    Yellofier and Animoog give good but limited sound in really friendly interface.
    Tenorion has great special interface but dorky sounds, no sample loading.

    Several might be ok production tools (nanostudio, cassini), but way too fiddly on a small screen. And when I do something, the project is locked away in some arcane private format that I probably can’t access in 5 years.

    Half of the rest sound crap because coders don’t even know the word “aliasing”

    So, yea, please bossman gimme new iphone cos angry bird really rocks on these new screens!

  8. iCloud?!
    Why do you even list that as a good thing?
    Every new device (yes the new Win8 laptop. Or the older macair. Or any phone) comes with a crapload of cloudbased trojans designed to steal my data and dump it on some megacorporation server.

    iCloud is so stupid they can’t even protect it from script kids.
    Not to mention any US icecream vendor who pays NSA 50 bucks to get a market study to enhance the experience for their customer base.
    So don’t get me started on iCl…oh I did dint i. Sorry for pseudorandom noise!

    1. You should be less concerned about getting your naked selfies stolen because you used a terrible password and more about losing your work because your hard drive craps out, or someone steals your phone.

      1. Fear of the cloud is idiotic when you consider all the shit people put on Facebook. Like telling everybody in the world that your house is empty because you’re on vacation.

        1. Aww gaawwd *facepalm*. OF COURSE i don’t use facebook! So obvious.
          And FB is of course included in the category “cloudbased trojan designed to steal my data”

          If the gleam around my head is not a lightbulb or a gloria, i’m afraid it has to be the twinkle of tinfoil.

  9. hitting iphone everyday., barely can produce poor drum loops. hitting pc 1 to 2 times per week, a full track almost done

    sorry guys, its beautiful, its hype, you can amazing friends, musicians friends, girls. but workflow on mobile world is boring. personal opnion only, depends on your taste

    1. The down votes come from the people who bought a competing device that’s not Apple, maybe they’re mad that 300ms of lag on they’er device means they can never use it for music.

  10. I hate the emojis on the Apple Watch. Everything that appears on a screen must now be flat according to some industry wide consensus…yet the emojis are 3d? Why didn’t they come up with some awesome looking stylized flat emojis? Those things on the Apple Watch look like something out of a tacky banner ad from 2003. And now that Scott Forestall got kicked out Jony Ive has no one to blame but himself.

    As for the iPhone 6… the camera sticking out of the iPhone 6 is good for what? So it can get stuck on my pocket? It’s so wide it’s already going to be an annoyance to slip into a pocket that just makes it that much worse. Moreover, my Nexus tablet has those rounded edges and it is horrible to use with one hand since any time you try to squeeze a button on the side it slips up out of your hand. I guess Ive ran out of Deiter Rams designs to rip-off so now he has to copy unknown guys from Google and ASUS? With a little Windows Phone flatness thrown in?

    Even worse now Ive is stacking the company with his own cronies. He just brought in Marc Newson, a dude who makes furniture so hideous even Jeff Koons would blush. I seriously hope some previously unheralded designer came with the Beats acquisition and can save the company from Ive.

    1. He’s been responsible for design at Apple for more than a decade, so nothing new there, and good track record.

      Emojis are not one of my criteria of judging a phone – but apps are, and Apples still got the best ones

      1. I kind of hate the new iPhone and have no interest in buying an Apple Watch. If next month he comes out with some amazing new design for the Mac Mini refresh or adds some new innovative twist to that 12 inch Surface Pro rip-off I suppose I’ll get over it but if the Mac Mini has crappy specs but is twice as thin for no good reason and the “Ipad Pro” is just a Surface Pro with OSX and an iOS emulator tacked on I’m going to start getting nervous about the Apple stock.

        1. Which reminds me…what happens if they merge OSX and iOS like people have been speculating? There is going to be a serious crisis in synthesizer prices that’s for sure! Right now you can get synths where the OSX version is 100+ bucks and iOS version is 10 bucks. Either iOS apps are going to get a lot more expensive or OSX synths are going to tank. If you notice Native Instruments has been playing it smart never releasing little $5 versions of their flagship apps. They’ll be ok but some of these other guys are going to have a problem…

  11. Well, I fancy me one of them new iPhone 6 Plus’s, this last year with my S4 has been awful, android music apps are total rubbish.

      1. I love how poeple always claim this is a “low, uncool” thing to do when there is clearly a disproportionate number of downvotes on an article that so many die-hard fans of this site claim to not be interested in. These die-hard fans of synthtopia don’t hang out on articles about shit they aren’t interested in just to down-vote every comment. They simply do not.

        There are plenty of iOS articles on this site and while they will occasionally get the griping- and moaning-style comments “I thought this site was SYNTHtopia not APPLEtopia,” the flood of downvotes on this article clearly points to something else. The same goes for the Bitwig release article… Now, let the downvotes begin.

  12. i like to see the thumbs system. you can see if you and others are doing inteligent comments with logic and sense. really, because sometimes you have a so extreme opnion that people downvote it, and it make you re-think your thoughts about such subject.

    kid who downvoted so hard everyone clicked c.a~ 600 times

    you could created the barebones of a song with the same amount of clicks. sad…but…

    i would ask synthhead to moderate such behavior. maybe is time to implement disqus?

    1. trust me.. before the iShit there were real good musicians all around,.. kinda shortsighted if u think there isnt good music before the Apple era..

  13. Mr Synthhead, can you please switch off this irritating “Hidden due to low comment” BS? It’s far easier to skim past the crap than to find out what all the mindless naysayers are objecting to. In fact, switch off the voting option altogether – it’s so 2012.

    (Thank you to all those who clicked twice to read this message after it became suppressed.)

    1. MirlitronOne – thanks for the feedback. We’ll continue to tweak this for balance between an ideal state and the realities of the Internet.

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